You are currently browsing the daily archive for 15 June 2008.

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SUNDAY 15/06/2008 20:42:59

One arrest was made after violent clashes at the Springfield/Shankill interface in Belfast forced police to shut Lanark Way security gates on the peaceline.

Sean Murray of Clonard Residents Association says bricks, bottles and lumps of wood were used as missiles.

He said that the trouble escalated after a crowd of Loyalists from Highfield confronted people taking part in a political tour.

“The mob got into an altercation, started fighting, then attacking a number of homes,” said Mr Murray.

“Then local people emerged and confronted the individuals.

“A number of people were hurt on both sides before the police arrived and electronically closed the gates, ending the incident.”

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By JEROME REILLY
Sunday Independent
Sunday June 15 2008

For the first time it has been revealed that seven gardai and soldiers were taken hostage and forced to run at gunpoint through fields as the kidnappers of Don Tidey made their escape from Derrada Wood in Leitrim 25 years ago.

While the businessman was able to make his escape from Derrada Wood in 1983, the IRA gang whose hideout had been discovered, turned the tables on the security forces and forced gardai and soldiers to surrender, telling them: “This is no time for dead heroes.”

During the shoot-out, trainee garda Gary Sheehan, 23, of Carrickmacross. Co Monaghan, was murdered along with Private Patrick Kelly, 35, of the Defence Forces, who was from Moate, Co Westmeath.

Maze prison escaper Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane, a 56-year-old father of three, from Jamaica Street, Belfast, has pleaded not guilty at the Special Criminal Court to falsely imprisoning Mr Tidey between November 24 and December 16, 1983.

He also denied possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life at Derrada Wood between November 25 and December 16, 1983, and possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose.

On Friday, William O’Brien, a retired Army corporal, recalled how he cocked his rifle after he heard gunfire and explosions. He saw another corporal coming out of the wood with his hands over his head followed by two gunmen armed with an Armalite rifle and a submachine gun.

He pointed his rifle at the gunmen, but one of them said: “This is no time for dead heroes,” and told him to drop his weapon.

The gunmen had captured three soldiers, three recruit gardai and a garda. They ordered the captives to run in front of them with their hands in the air, while one of the gunmen fired shots into an Army radio. Gda Det Francis Moran, then a trainee, said he heard intense bursts of automatic gunfire and one or two loud bangs and he dropped to the ground.

He saw eight or nine people coming out of the wood, three of them bearded and in combat gear and armed with rifles and submachine guns.

A man pointed a rifle in their direction and told him and two soldiers and another garda to get up and said: “Dead heroes, no good.”

The gardai and soldiers were ordered to run with their hands up through fields, ahead of the gunmen. At one stage one fired shots in the direction of a detective.

Retired Det Insp Bill Somers recalled that on Friday, December 16, 1983, his armed search party, code named ‘Rudolph One’, arrived at the wood. The officer told the court he heard heavy gunfire coming from a small wooded area and saw another search party lying on the side of a hill.

They had “flushed out the terrorists” and were coming under fire. He radioed for help and then saw someone coming through a ditch in combat gear and thought it was one of the terrorists making a break — it turned out to be Don Tidey.

The garda officer calmed Mr Tidey when he saw a blue car driving towards them and the driver opened fire. There was also gunfire from the car boot. Det Insp Somers pulled Mr Tidey to the ground but Gda Det Donal Kelleher was shot in the legs.

The car sped off around a corner but came up against a garda checkpoint and further gunfire was exchanged.

Det Insp Somers said he put a bullet-proof vest on Mr Tidey and got him into a car which drove him to safety.

The garda later found a hole in the elbow of his jacket, a tear on the inside of the left sleeve of his sports coat and another tear which he said were caused by the gunfire. Another garda inspector said a prayer in the ear of trainee garda Gary Sheehan, who died in the shooting.

Insp Seamus O’Hanlon said after he heard gunfire he heard somebody shouting: “Garda dead over here.”

Almost immediately another voice shouted: “Soldier dead over here.”

Insp O’Hanlon said: “I identified him as Garda Gary Sheehan. I had known him for 14 years. He had a large wound in his head and was dead.”

– JEROME REILLY

By Jack Chang
McClatchy Newspapers
14 June 2008

ROSARIO, Argentina – While Ernesto “Che” Guevara remains the most famous export of this sleepy city, his legacy here has long been a low-key one.

That changed Saturday when civic leaders inaugurated the first official monument honoring the revolutionary leader in Argentina, ending decades of government silence about the controversial figure.

A Except for a handful of businesses named in his honor, few markers alert visitors that the revolutionary leader was born here exactly 80 years ago before becoming one of the most mythic figures of the 20th century.

BBC photo

13-foot-high bronze statue unveiled before hundreds of cheering admirers depicts the beret-wearing Guevara standing defiantly while facing toward Santa Clara, Cuba, where another statue of Guevara faces toward Argentina.

Much of Guevara’s family, including three of his children, attended the ceremony along with other veterans of the Cuban Revolution who fought beside Guevara.

Sculptor Andres Zerneri, who created the statue, said the time had come in Guevara’s native country for such a monument, especially as the revolutionary’s influence spreads around a Latin America increasingly dominated by leftist governments.

AP photo by Matias Sarlo

As a show of Guevara’s international fame, Zerneri solicited donations of keys from around the world to be melted for the bronze used in the statue. That request unleashed a flood of some 75,000 keys.

“There’s a more Latin American consciousness now in the region, and it’s the direct influence of Che,” Zerneri said. “We understand now that he didn’t do all this just for the sake of revolution but to change the political face of Latin America.”

Read the rest of this entry »

By Diarmaid MacDermott and Bronagh Murphy
Independent.ie
Saturday June 14 2008

The gang who kidnapped businessman Don Tidey also captured seven gardai and soldiers during the chaotic shootout when their hideout was discovered.

While the businessman was able to make his escape in Derrada Wood in Co Leitrim in 1983, the IRA gang forced members of the security forces to surrender, telling them: “This is no time for dead heroes”, the Special Criminal Court was told.

Brendan McFarlane at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin yesterday where he pleads not guilty to falsely imprisoning Quinnsworth boss Don Tidey in 1983.

Maze prison escapee Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane, a 56-year-old father of three from Jamaica Street in Belfast, has pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning Mr Tidey on dates unknown between November 24 and December 16, 1983.

He also denied possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life at Derrada Wood, Drumcroman, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim between November 25 and December 16, 1983, and possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose.

Yesterday William O’Brien, a retired Army corporal, recalled how he cocked his rifle after he heard gunfire and explosions. He saw another corporal coming out of the wood with his hands over his head followed by two gunmen armed with an Armalite rifle and a submachine gun.

He pointed his rifle at the gunmen but one of them said: “This is no time for dead heroes”, and told him to drop his weapon.

The gunmen had captured three soldiers, three recruit gardai and a garda. He ordered the captives to run in front of them, while one of the gunmen fired shots into an Army radio.

Gunfire

Detective Garda Francis Moran, then a trainee garda, said he heard intense bursts of automatic gunfire and one or two loud bangs and he dropped to the ground.

He saw eight or nine people coming out of the wood, three of them bearded and in combat gear and armed with rifles and submachine guns.

A man pointed a rifle in their direction and told him and two soldiers and another garda to get up and said: “Dead heroes, no good.”

The gardai and soldiers were ordered to run with their hands up through fields, ahead of the gunmen. At one stage one fired a number of shots in the direction of an armed detective.

Retired Detective Inspector Bill Somers recalled that on Friday December 16, 1983 his armed search party, codenamed ‘Rudolph One’, arrived at the wood. The officer told the court he heard heavy gunfire coming from a small wooded area and saw another search party lying on the side of a hill.

They had “flushed out the terrorists” and were coming under fire.

He radioed for help and then saw someone coming through a ditch in combat gear and thought it was one of the terrorists making a break but it turned out to be Mr Tidey.

The garda officer calmed Mr Tidey when he saw a blue car driving towards them and the driver opened fire. There was also gunfire from the car boot.

Det Insp Somers pulled Mr Tidey to the ground but Detective Garda Donal Kelleher was shot in the legs.

Checkpoint

The car sped off around a corner but came up against a garda checkpoint and further gunfire was exchanged.

Det Insp Somers said he put a bullet proof vest on Mr Tidey and got him into a car which drove him to safety.

The garda detective later found a hole in the elbow of his jacket, a tear on the inside of the left sleeve of his sports coat and another tear which he said were caused by the gunfire and he also discovered that his watch had been broken.

Another Garda Inspector said a prayer in the ear of the trainee gardwh died in the shooting.

Inspector Seamus O’Hanlon said after he heard gunfire he heard somebody shouting: “Garda dead over here.”

Almost immediately another voice shouted: “Soldier dead over here.”

Insp O’Hanlon said: “I identified him as Garda Gary Sheehan. I had known him for 14 years. He had a large wound in his head and was dead. I said an Act of Contrition in his ear.”

Retired Sergeant Tom Barrett told the court he came across a dome shaped black polythene tent in the woods and saw a man holding a long gun and another kneeling man also holding a gun. He alerted his superior who shouted a warning. He then heard one shot and then a burst of heavy gunfire.

Sergeant Francis Smith, who was a trainee garda in 1983, said he saw a man dressed in military clothing cleaning a rifle with a white cloth. He called out: “Soldier, answer my call” but there was no response.

At this stage recruit Garda Gary Sheehan shouted: “Is that you Frank” and he replied: “Yes.”

The trial continues on Tuesday.

– Diarmaid MacDermott and Bronagh Murphy

By Maureen Coleman
Belfast Telegraph
Saturday, June 14, 2008

This is the first still taken from a new one-off drama about the Troubles starring Ulster actors Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt.


Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt star in ‘Five Minutes Of Heaven’

For the first time the pair of acting heavyweights have teamed up for a television drama.

Five Minutes In Heaven was filmed in Belfast and explores aspects of Northern Ireland’s troubled past and the challenges the future holds in coming to terms with it.

Written by Guy Hibbert, who also penned Omagh, the drama centres around the story of 17-year-old Alistair Little, a member of the UVF who murdered 19-year-old Catholic Jim Griffen in 1975.

Little was arrested two weeks later along with three others involved in the shooting and convicted.

He served 12-and-a-half-years in prison. Jim’s murder was witnessed by his 11-year-old brother Joe, and the impact of Jim’s death destroyed his family.

In this exclusive photograph taken from the BBC drama, Neeson’s character Little meets Joe Griffen (Nesbitt) years later, when they are both adults.

Filming took place last month and the two stars stayed in the city during the shoot.

Neeson was photographed filming in a car near the George Best Belfast City Airport and both men were spotted enjoying a few quiet drinks in Ten Square.

The drama was made by Big Fish Films in association with Ruby Films for BBC2 with co-financing from Northern Ireland Screen.

It was directed by Oliver Hirschbiegal, whose movie Downfall, about Hilter’s last days, was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar.

No transmission date for the drama has yet been announced.

BBC
14 June 2008

The new culture minister said he will not engage in social conversation with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness on the margins of Stormont meetings.


Gregory Campbell will not shake hands with Martin McGuinness

Gregory Campbell said when the two men sit down at executive meetings, their relationship would be businesslike.

Mr McGuinness recently described Mr Campbell as “bitter” and pointed out that he did not talk to him despite the DUP-Sinn Fein deal on power-sharing.

Mr Campbell said there would be no handshakes, greetings or cups of tea.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster’s Inside Politics, he said: “We have business to do, we are going to do that business for the greater good of the people of Northern Ireland and that’s what we have to do.”

In response to Mr Campbell’s remarks, Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey said:”It’s a pathetic attempt by Gregory to distract attention from the fact that he is sitting at the Executive table with Gerry Kelly and Martin McGuinness when his party had repeatedly promised not to do so.”

Bobby Sands mural photo
Ní neart go cur le chéile

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'So venceremos, beidh bua againn eigin lá eigin. Sealadaigh abú.' --Bobby Sands

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